The Alhambra – an Andalusian Ambition Fulfilled12th October 2013 • Places to Visit • Stephanie Donaldson
I’ve finally been to the Alhambra and it did not disappoint (except for the crowds). It is a place that has been on my ‘must visit’ list for a very long time. The Moorish architecture is, of course, sublime, but the gardens were so much greener and more colourful than I expected, especially in October when the surrounding landscape is so parched. Looking at photos of the Generalife Gardens in the past, it does appear that the planting was far from inspired, but these days it is replanted as often as every 6 weeks and it was positively zinging with colour. It is contemporary planting, using many plants that would have been unfamiliar to the Moors – but historically accuracy can be dull and given that much of the Alhambra has been rebuilt and restored many times, with varying degrees of reference to the original, some horticultural creativity was fine by me.